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Entries in Christopher Walken (7)

Monday
Jul142014

Aarrrr, matey. It's Captain Link!

John August Gregory Maguire (author of the novel "Wicked") looks at the original screenplay of The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Tom Huller look at this amazing commissioned poster for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Erik Lundegaard the first "Best Shot" entry elsewhere is up for tomorrow's Any Batman Movie fest. I love this article. Erik is so right about Adam West
Black Maria the nuance of silence in Ida  

Stage Buddy reviews the cast album of the Tony Winning "Lady Day"... won't someone please make it into a movie so Audra McDonald can have an Oscar?
Cinema Blend Stan Lee getting greedy in his old age - wants to cameo in DC movies, too 
The Film Stage Kurt Russell who starred in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof thinks The Hateful Eight will be going before cameras early in 2015 
The Playlist ranks all eight Planet of the Apes movies. Predictably Tim Burton's box office hit is dead last.
Previously TV 'disparate things' pits Parks and Recreation's party machine up against "that brief window when we thought Smash might be good." I trust you'll all vote for Smash. Do as your told!

Boyhood
Awards Daily thinks Boyhood leads the Best Picture race but I'd be surprised to see it even nominated myself. IFC doesn't really try for these things you know. I think there last nomination was in 2009 or something.
Guardian quibbling with Boyhood  

The Struggle
Film School Rejects has a think piece on the toxic culture of movie rumors as movie news. I've talked about this a lot myself as a way of describing what I don't want The Film Experience to be (just another site that cares more about movies that don't yet exist than movies that do) versus what it is (a movie site that cares about real movies from all eras and long after their opening weekend). As a generul rule we restrict ourselves when it comes to rumors (beyond quite often in these link roundups) much to the detriment of traffic since "future movies" is big business. I don't mean to pat myself on the back but I think it's a real problem for healthy film culture (which needs to be about actual films) and I'm always to curious to read articles like this from bigger sites which are news-focused on their feelings. It's a tough line to walk. I don't think we cover news enough at TFE but you have to be so careful that you're not just feeding into the meaningless of what's-next-what's-next at the expense of appreciating what there already is. Imagine if everyone in the US stopped reading every article about upcoming movies for an entire year. They'd have enough time left over to see a big group of classics and contemporary cinema and discuss them, too.

Christopher Walken in Pennies From Heaven (1981)

FINALLY...
You'd probably heard that Christopher Walken will be playing Captain Hook in the "Peter Pan Live!" event we should see sometime next year. "The Sound of Music Live!" set off a bunch of new plans for networks since live events are one of the only ways to get people to watch a program as its broadcast and thereby force them to sit through commercials. Walken is so amazing in musical roles which he almost never gets to do (see "Weapon of Choice" and "Pennies From Heaven" for starters). I don't remember this musical at all though I think my parents took us to a touring company when I was itty bitty to see it. Hopefully Hook gets to do some elaborate pirate jigs.  

Unfortunately it looks like they're looking for a female actress to play Peter Pan (Kristen Bell was an original choice) which is disappointing. Yes, that's the stage and film tradition but wasn't it originally the tradition only because of wirework technical issues and women being smaller and lighter. It's decades later now, time to get a real boy who won't grow up for the role. 

 

Saturday
Jun212014

Review: "Jersey Boys"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

 

‘I’m looking for sky blue and you’re giving me brown,' a fey producer sighs when the Four Seasons are in the recording booth. They’re just going through the motions rather than livening up their material. He could just have easily been dissing Jersey Boys itself, Clint Eastwood’s needlessly dull adaptation of the Broadway smash. In truth the band’s performance in this scene isn’t appreciably worse than their performances elsewhere in the movie. If you can’t readily spot differences in inspiration and creative fire from one performance to the next, maybe there’s none to be found?

“Brown” isn’t quite the color of it, though. Clint Eastwood’s aesthetic favors underlit rooms, heavy blacks and washed out color. You’d think that aesthetic would change for a splashy musical but you’d be wrong. I mean, why shouldn’t a musical about a famous band with a gift for hooky pop gems look as depressing / dead-end as a drama about desperate boxers or a war film about an island massacre?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar312014

Monologue: Christopher Walken x 2

Happy birthday to one of cinema's all time greatest nutjobs, Christopher Walken. The Oscar-winner is 71 today. Do you forget he was in Annie Hall (1977) ? I always do until I'm watching it and he shows up in that utterly classic passage when Alvy Singer goes to meet Annie's family.

Alvy, this is my room. Can I confess something?

I tell you this because, as an artist, I think you'll understand. Sometimes when I'm driving on the road at night I see two headlights coming toward me fast, I have this sudden impulse to turn the wheel quickly head on into the oncoming car.

I can anticipate the explosion, the sound of shattering glass, the flames rising out of the flowing gasoline.

LOL. And back out of the room quickly!

Of course that's hardly Walken's only classic movie speech. I'm sure they're numerous but the other one I forget about for the same reason as Annie Hall, in that the movie is so rich that who can remember every passage, is Pulp Fiction (1994). Quentin Tarantino's breakthrough turns 20 this year and I often forget about that Gold Watch sequence. My memories of Pulp Fiction tend to revolve around Pumpkin and Honeybunny (my college roommate and I were obsessed with them) and Vincent Vega & Mia Wallace because I loved the Oscar nominated performances by Uma & Travolta so much.

Though Pulp Fiction's narrative is famously circular rather than linear, Walken's segment exists outside of even that loop in a flashback to Butch's (Bruce Willis) youth halfway through. He literally monologues for 3 minutes (which is a lot for a movie, trust) - a highly appropriate speech for a little boy who's in the middle of watching cartoons.

...so he hid it in the one place he knew he could hide something. His ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. 

What's your favorite Christopher Walken moment in a movie? 

Tuesday
Apr232013

Curio: Julie Alberti's Faces

Alexa here. Julie Alberti is an artist who watches a lot of movies and loves unique faces. She works in porcelain, paper and clay to create some really clever pieces that celebrate her love of Steve Buscemi, Christopher Walken, Shelly Duvall, Buster Keaton and Cole Porter, among others. 

 

She reuses old porcelain tableware like a master; I've fallen hard for these Steve Buscemi plates. Click for more including a Peter Lorre doll, Buster Keaton pendants, and Christopher Walken teapot!

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan042013

Mine is the Way of the Link ♫

Buzzfeed Young Christopher Walken looks just like Scarlett Johansson
Where the Day Takes You 140 still-living actresses who were born before 1930! 
Coming Soon the Carrie remake pushed back several months to October release... same weekend as Malavita so I get JMoore and MPfeiffer on the same weekend. ayyiiieeeeee
Backstage a plea to the Academy to dump Nicole Kidman and choose Ann Dowd. Ugh, people... you can have both. Just don't nominate Amy Adamzzz or Maggie Smith (she's better on Downton Abbey anyway!). But FWIW Kidman is genius so this article is suspect ;) 

Pajiba lists 10 FYC Ads least likely to be "considered" by Oscar. Sad really because I guarantee youse that the one for On the Road praises two performances that will inevitably be better than something that will be nominated instead of them. 
MNPP watch JA squirm his way through Les Miz. He just can't deal with the all the singing. The constant singing!!!

Speaking of Lez Misérables, Buzzfeed has a funny character guide that is so so so true. I love the recurring Cosette gag. Here's Javert...


TV
Playbill YAY. Sutton Foster will be back on your TV on Monday with the return of "Bunheads". Watch it with me!
Slate Even bigger YAY. Downton Abbey is back on Sunday. With Shirley Maclaine joining the cast
Gawker shares the best thing on TV this week (apparently)... Jessica Lange doing "the Name Game" for American Horror Story. A twitter follower asked me if I'd watched it but I had to admit I hadn't. I can't deal with Ryan Murphy television: so erratic in plot/characterization/quality... even within single scenes! 

Finally...
Have you seen the Jennifer Lawrence issue of Vanity Fair? I kind of love Jennifer Lawrence as a celebrity even if I don't love her performance in Silver Linings Playbook (though that's almost the definition of "celebrity" in terms of performance, it's so look at me sparkly and charismatic) but I'm starting to remember how very young she is with some of her quotes. Like this one:

 Not to sound rude, but [acting] is stupid,” Lawrence says. “Everybody’s like, ‘How can you remain with a level head?’ And I’m like, ‘Why would I ever get cocky? I’m not saving anybody’s life. There are doctors who save lives and firemen who run into burning buildings. I’m making movies. It’s stupid.’

Ugh, I hate it when actors are "above" acting. Blargh. Acting is an art. And art is important. Be proud of your craft. Actors are magicians of embodiment, sculpters of emotion, and channellers of human truth. Or they can be when they're doing it right.

Tuesday
Aug282012

Take Three: Christopher Walken

Craig from Dark Eye Socket here with Take Three. This week: Christopher Walken


Take One: True Romance (1993)
One of Tony Scott’s best loved films was True Romance, based on Quentin Tarantino’s script. And one of its most fondly remembered supporting performances was Walken’s psychotic criminal Vincenzo Coccotti. His sole scene – the ‘Sicilian scene’ as it became dubbed – is often quoted for its spiky dialogue and playful yet intense interaction. In the scene Walken pays a visit to Clifford Worley (Dennis Hopper) for information on the whereabouts of the latter’s son Clarence (Christian Slater). Worley knows that he’s going to die regardless of what he tells Coccotti, so he relates an offending story hoping to insult him as a last FU. For the most part Walken does seemingly very little; Hopper does most of the talking. But his responses, his turning to his henchmen for reactions and hardy yuck-yuck laugh add an amusingly unsettling tension. Walken’s screen persona in scenes of violence has often relied on his characters’ ability to suddenly snap and violently “disagree” with other characters (see A View to a Kill and King of New York particularly). Walken waits out the bulk of the scene, letting Coccotti’s rage simmer as Worley offends him. Coccotti never rises to the verbal bait; Walken doesn’t overplay it. (Apparently, only the words ‘eggplant’ and ‘cantaloupe’ were adlibbed to the script as written.) He sits listening, stewing in his carefully guarded anger. It’s obvious he’ll boil over at some point but we don’t know when. Though he embeds himself in your mind quickly, he generously lets Hopper shine for the scene's duration before shrewdly asserting himself, switching into psycho mode for the finish.

I haven’t killed anyone since 1984"

Walken's savvy waiting game here is testament to how he regularly imbues a film with sly style through his uniquely scary persona. The scene is barely five minutes long, and Walken has only a handful of words, but he does some of his best supporting work within the timeframe.

Two more takes after the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov192011

It Won't Bring Her Back.

Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood on "Splendour"For those of you wondering why I haven't written about the reopening of the Natalie Wood drowning case from 1981 there are three reasons. First, recalling a childhood trauma is unpleasant (Natalie was my first experience with the death of a loved one. An abstract "loved one", sure, but still... Traumatic!). Second, it won't bring her back and I'd rather remember the actress than the death. In fact, I have West Side Story 50th anniversary prizes to give out soon. Third and finally, I've been swamped time-wise. But if you'd like the latest updates, The Wrap has been steadily updating the information. It's all still very inconsequential so one wonders why exactly they reopened the case. There were only four people aboard: Natalie, the captain (who claims to have been drunk and has changed his story), her husband RJ (who is supposedly not a suspect), and her then co-star Christopher Walken (who has now hired a lawyer). Natalie and Walken were making Brainstorm at the time which was released two years after her death.

Christopher Walken was 38 (and a recent Oscar winner) and Natalie was 43 when they made "Brainstorm"

CBS 48 Hours Mystery is airing a new special on the 30 year old tragedy tonight. (The boat they were on was long since sold but it's now docked in Honolulu.) I probably shouldn't watch it but I suspect I will.